Conservation Lab Equipment
Kensol stamping machine
Much of the equipment in the Conservation Lab is very old, dating from the 1800's, and is intentionally kept in its original condition so that students may understand the history behind the 2000-year-old craft of bookbinding. Many pieces were "inherited" from the old University of Michigan Bindery: a rounding table, a backing press, a massive lying press (with blocks that are four feet long), cast iron presses, a board shear, a guillotine, gold stamping equipment, sewing machines, sewing frames, benches, a perforator and an extensive collection of hand tools.
Leafcasting to repair a document
Hand Crafted Equipment
Mr. Craven has built many of the devices used in the Conservation Lab, such as drying frames, book clamps, brass stamping tools, leafcasting mold and deckle box, and the vacuum table (which was created to gently secure fragile materials to the work surface).
At the left, the conservator uses the leafcasting apparatus to repair a damaged document, using a slurry of distilled water and paper pulp to fill in voids. The stainless steel sinks were a gift of the Friends of the Library.
Using Wei T'o sprayer and vacuum table to deacidify a map.
The Conservation Lab also tries to keep up with the latest research and methods that are available. Materials are tested for acidity and treated in the deacidification spray booth if test results warrant it. A spray consisting primarily of magnesium neutralizes the acids in the paper and leaves it buffered to protect against future exposure to acidic materials.The Poly Sealer encapsulates fragile papers between clear polyester sheets so they may be handled and examined without damage.
We also have a 60" mat cutter, with which we can cut polyester for oversize encapsulations in addition to mat board.